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Nov. 26, 2022

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Vancouver City Council asked to OK $725,000 deal with family of man killed by police

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

The Vancouver City Council is poised to approve a six-figure settlement agreement Monday with the family of a man who was fatally shot by Vancouver police in 2020.

Three Vancouver police officers fatally shot William Abbe, 50, while responding to an April 28, 2020, assault at Northeast Fourth Plain Boulevard and Stapleton Road.

A review of the shooting by the Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office deemed the shooting was lawful and justified.

Abbe’s daughter, Kara Brandon, filed a federal lawsuit Oct. 26, 2021, in U.S. District Court in Tacoma against the city of Vancouver and Vancouver police Sgt. Jay Alie and Officers Sean Suarez and Sammy Abdala.

The lawsuit alleged wrongful death, negligence, assault and battery, excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment and a 14th Amendment due process violation. The complaint also alleged the officers were acting in accordance with the Vancouver Police Department’s policies when they violated Abbe’s civil rights, and it accused the department of an invalid investigation. Court records show the claim under the 14th Amendment was later dismissed.

Brandon had previously filed a tort claim with the city demanding $5 million, according to a staff report for the city council. After a Sept. 13 mediation session, the City Manager’s Office, Brandon and her attorney agreed to a settlement of $725,000, pending city council approval Monday, the report states.

“The settlement does not concede any wrongdoing by the involved officers or the department,” the report states. “However, both the city and Ms. Brandon agreed that juries can reach different conclusions based on the same evidence.”

Brandon’s attorney, Angus Lee, said the parties also agreed to a joint statement that he said would be the only comment to media.

“A human life was lost, and everyone involved in this case on both sides recognizes the significance of that loss,” the statement reads. “Every human life is important and has dignity. Both parties agree that settlement is in the best interest of all involved.”

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